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Regulate Alcohol Marketing, Advertising and Sponsorship – Says WHO

World Health Organisation decries the use of ‘sophisticated online marketing techniques for alcohol marketing and called for regulation

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Alcohol

In its new publication released on Tuesday, World Health Organisation decries the use of ‘sophisticated online marketing techniques for alcohol marketing and called for regulation.

The new way of marketing alcohol is today being done “across national borders – often by digital means. And in many cases regardless of the social, economic or cultural environment in receiving countries.”

Worldwide, 3 million people die each year as a result of harmful use of alcohol – one every 10 seconds – representing about 5 percent of all deaths.

A disproportionate number of these alcohol-related deaths occur among younger people, with 13.5 percent of all deaths among those who are 20–39 years of age being alcohol-related.

Director-General, WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said  “Alcohol robs young people, their families and societies of their lives and potential. Yet despite the clear health risks, controls on the marketing of alcohol are much weaker than for other psychoactive products.

“Better, well enforced and more consistent regulation of alcohol marketing would both save and improve young lives across the world,” he asserted.

A digital revolution in marketing and promotion

In the report: One of the biggest changes in recent years to alcohol marketing is the use of sophisticated online marketing.

“Specific social media adverts are especially effective at using such data, with their impact strengthened by social influencers and sharing of posts between social media users,” the report read.

“The rising importance of digital media means that alcohol marketing has become increasingly cross-border, said Dag Rekve of the Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Unit at the World Health Organization.

Sponsorship of sporting events

According to the report, “sponsorship of major sporting events at global, regional and national levels is another key strategy used by transnational alcohol companies (which are gaining increasing dominance in the production and branding of alcohol beverages).

“Such sponsorship can significantly increase awareness of their brands to new audiences. In addition, alcohol producers engage in partnership with sports leagues and clubs to reach viewers and potential consumers in different parts of the world,” it concluded.

The high rate of the e-sports market has become another opportunity for companies to sponsor events and in turn, increase international sales.

According to an analysis of the 100 highest-grossing box office, U.S. branded alcohol was shown in almost half of the movies shown between 1996 and 2015,

Highlights of the report:

  • The lack of regulation to address cross-border marketing of alcohol is of concern for children and adolescents, women, and heavy drinkers.
  • A focus on marketing to specific audiences – Heavy and dependent drinkers are another target for marketing efforts since in many countries just 20 per cent of current drinkers drink well over half of all alcohol consumed. Alcohol-dependent people frequently report a stronger urge to drink alcohol when confronted with alcohol-related cues, yet they rarely have an effective way to avoid exposure to the content of the advertising or promotion.
  • Call for Partnership
  • Dag Rekve called for a partnership to make it easy for countries to be able to regulate alcohol marketing and control their jurisdiction.
  • The WHO report concludes that national governments need to integrate comprehensive restrictions or bans on alcohol marketing, including its cross-border aspects, into public health strategies.

Data by Statista shows that in Nigeria:

  • Revenue in the Alcoholic Drinks market amounts to US$31.76bn in 2022 and is expected to grow annually by 11.95 per cent.
  • Per person revenue of US$146.50 is generated in 2022.
  • By 2025, 1 per cent of spending and 1 per cent of volume consumption in the Alcoholic Drinks market will be attributable to out-of-home consumption, for instance, in bars and restaurants).
  • In the Alcoholic Drinks market, volume is expected to amount to 19,537.6mltr by 2025. The market for Alcoholic Drinks market is expected to show a volume growth of 1.0% in 2023.
  • The average volume per person in the Alcoholic Drinks market is expected to amount to 88.09ltr in 2022.

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Business

Boeing to Deliver 50 737 MAX Planes to British Airways

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American Airlines Boeing

International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, on Thursday said it has agreed to purchase 50 Boeing 737 MAX planes. The transaction estimated at $6.25 billion includes a substantial discount and is expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2027, according to a statement issued by the company.

In the statement seen by Investors King, Luis Gallego, the Chief Executive of IAG, said “The addition of new Boeing 737s is an important part of IAG’s short-haul fleet renewal.”  

“The deal falls short of a blockbuster non-binding commitment for 200 737 MAX jets placed under former chief executive Willie Walsh at the Paris Airshow 2019 that was a welcome lifeline to Boeing when the model was grounded after two fatal crashes.

“But the firm 737 MAX 10 order from a top-tier customer is an important signal to the market at a time when Boeing faces an increasingly high-stakes battle to win certification of the largest MAX variant before a new safety standard on cockpit alerts takes effect at year-end.”

Boeing’s financial health rests on the resumption of deliveries of 787 Dreamliners and clearing MAX inventories, company executives and analysts have said.

Former IAG’s Chief Financial Officer, Steve Gunning revealed to analysts in November that the airline group would need some additional short-haul aircraft towards 2024 or 2025 and hinted that any order would include the 737 MAX.

IAG, owner of Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Spain’s Iberia and Vueling in addition to British Airways, also has a further 100 purchase options as part of the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval.

IAG is one of the world’s largest airline groups, with a fleet of 531 aircraft. Before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it operated to 279 destinations and carried around 118 million passengers each year.

It is a Spanish registered company with shares traded on the London Stock Exchange and Spanish Stock Exchanges.

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Business

CISLAC Campaigns For Tobacco Tax Hike

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British American Tobacco

The Federal Ministry of Health, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called for a campaign to raise tobacco tax. The aim of this advocacy is to generate income for the health sector and save the lives of Nigerians.

Executive Director, CISLAC, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani said the measure would provide Nigeria with a win-win situation by lowering tobacco product affordability while generating income for development funds. He said that the detrimental effects of tobacco usage had prompted countries such as Nigeria to enact tobacco control measures to reduce tobacco consumption and cost.

“Excise taxes are the most effective tax measure for promoting health because they change the price of a harmful product relative to other goods and can be easily increased over time. Consumption is reduced best with taxes based on specific taxes on unhealthy products such as sticks and packs of cigarettes.

“Closely linked to the issue of tobacco taxation as a control tool, is the issue of safeguarding population health. It is not news, however, that the state of health care delivery in Nigeria remained very abysmal while the world intensified efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Recall that Investors King had earlier reported the World Bank’s call to the Federal Government of Nigeria, urging the government to impose special taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and beverages that are highly sweetened in order to improve primary healthcare conditions in the country.

Investors King gathered that, Shubham Chaudhuri, the Country Director for Nigeria in the World Bank Group, said that an improvement in healthcare in Nigeria will come by taxing the things that are “killing us.” He said that the economic rationale for the action is quite strong if lives are to be saved and a healthier Nigeria achieved.

According to Rafsanjani, African nations convened in April 2001 to address health-care finance issues, which are one of the primary determinants of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and decided to set aside 15% of their budget for health.

“As the country defaults on budgeting effectively for health, countries of the world are adopting innovative approach to mobilise resources for health financing which is adopting tobacco taxes as an alternative strategy”, he noted.

The study, according to Rafsanjani, was commissioned to investigate the potential of tobacco taxation as a form of income for Nigerian health financing.

He explained that the study’s goal was to give scientific information to help policymakers formulate better policies as Nigeria battled to close the gap in health funding.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Holdings Plc to Acquire Majority Stake in First Guarantee Pension Limited

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Herbert Wigwe - Investors King

Access Holdings Plc has agreed with First Guarantee Pension Limited to acquire a majority stake in the company in its drive to transform from a narrow banking business into a financial service company.

The leading financial institution stated in a press release obtained by Investors King on Thursday.

According to Access Bank, the transaction is in line with its strategy to evolve into a full-blown financial services company and gain relevant market share across Africa, global monetary centres and beyond banking verticals.

Speaking on the firm’s push to change the banking landscape, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Corporation said “This transaction is a natural evolution for us. Over the last 20 years, we set our sights on and delivered ambitious plans to transform the African financial services landscape focusing on banking and have created the African leading Bank and largest bank by customer base.

“This large customer base both on the wholesale and retail segments makes the pension business a natural fit for the Corporation given its objective of ecosystem optimisation. We will leverage our well-established culture of strong corporate governance, risk management, cutting-edge technology, and digital capabilities to deliver high standards of professionalism in the management of pension assets to the benefit of our stakeholders.”

The firm added that the National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their no objection to the transaction.

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